Middle East

UAE to have new visa rules with effect from 21st October 2018

UAE to have major visa policy changes, which will came in to being from today, 21st October 2018. It is expected that the new visa rules will not just benefit expatriates, but boost the local economy as well.

The visa policy changes include the extension of entry permits for visitors and visas for women.

The Federal Authority for identity and Citizenship confirmed last week that it will begin extending the residency visa for widows and divorced women and their children for a year without a sponsor. The residency visas of students sponsored by the parents will also be renewed.

The changes also include facility for foreigners in UAE to extend their visa for 30 days without leaving the country, at a cost of AED 600. The extension can be granted twice only, regardless of the main duration of the original visa.

Sources in the tourism industry as well as in the human resources have welcomed the decisions, mentioning that the changes will enable foreigners, including visitors who have come to the UAE on business, to conveniently extend their stay in the UAE.

“The UAE is already one of the preferred destinations for tourism, business conventions and exhibitions. Added flexibility to allow visitors to stay longer will further enhance UAE’s position as a destination of choice,” said Harish Bhatia, regional director for Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry, a talent consulting firm.

As per statistics, the first six months of the year witnessed around 8.1 million tourists in Dubai alone, which was 8.06 million in the same period of 2017. Indian visitors during the same period accounted for more than one million, registering a 3 per cent increase over a year earlier.

As per the new visa rules, widows and divorced women can extend their residency visa for one year from the date of their spouse’s death or divorce with fees of AED 100 plus cancellation fees of AED 100 for their previous visa.

Expat students in UAE, sponsored by parents after completing their university or high school, or those turning 18 years of age, will be given a one year residency visa that can be renewed for another year. AED 100 visa fee is applicable with AED 100 for renewal.